2013 continues to be a year of changes for the search industry, just as it was for 2012 & 2011. Search engine giant, Google made 500 + changes to its algorithms in 2011. All this continued in 2012 and I think changes are even more extensive and aggressive in 2013. Search engines have really devalued the websites that relied on low-value tactics for gaining visibility. Panda, Penguin and Exact Match Domain (EMD) updates were some of the largest updates that were released by Google to crack down on low-quality websites. Here are some of the best SEO tips for 2013 that will enable you to protect your website from the wrath of the search engines, especially if you have been following older, (now) low – valued tactics for gaining traffic to your website.
- Natural: Follow natural and ethical SEO practices. It’s time to rethink and revamp your strategy. Optimize your website for human visitors with useful information. Natural tactics always pay off in the long run. Remember you don’t make your website for Google, Bing and other search engines; you make your website to promote your business. There are many other ways to promote your website besides getting hundreds of links from directories. Therefore it’s strongly recommended that you should employ only ethical practices that help real users notice your website.
- Trust Factor: Try to gain the trust of your customers. Stay clear of the shortcuts to high rankings, and instead focus on brand building, creating awareness about your business and other marketing strategies that are proven to achieve better results.
- Diversify: Diversification requires hours of research. Instead of investing time in what search engines want from you, invest time in exploring the user’s requirements. When you meet the demands of your users, search engines will love your website and will eventually promote it to higher rankings.
- Content: Undoubtedly “Content is the King”. Good content is the key to success. To get good search engine results, the importance of quality content can’t be denied. Quality content means content should be plagiarism free, informative, useful and easily understandable to the readers. Here are some tips that will enable you to write good content in terms of SEO:
- Keyword density should be optimum i.e. 1-3%. Too much keyword stuffing will make you appear fake and suspicious in the eyes of Google.
- Avoid already published content rewriting or content spinning.
- Follow Google guidelines and criteria for content publishing.
- Links: Diversify you links to minimize your risk of being penalized by search engines. Bid adieu to any old low-valued link building techniques that are now considered spam. Don’t add your good content to junk websites to get links. Analyze your link sources. Focus on diversifying your link profile so as to minimize your risks. Avoid reciprocal linking as it may backfire.
- Anchor Text: The method of adding many inbound links no longer works to raise rankings. Anchor text should be natural and relevant to the context of the link. Stop obsessing about link building. Stop trying to get anchor text links from irrelevant places to increase your link count. Over optimized anchor text is now considered spam by search engines. The recent Penguin update by Google has clearly reinforced this message. Anchor text is a signal – so use it in a natural manner.
- Traffic Sources: If you want to strengthen your link profile, don’t rely on any single source. Work on increasing your traffic sources but make sure that these are in compliance with search engine guidelines. That being said, in reality no one is assured of traffic and higher visibility after complying with all the search engine guidelines. Traffic still depends upon the user and market trends. For instance if your competitors make a shift in their marketing towards social media and other paid forms of advertising, then they are likely to get better search results than you. So try to look beyond search engines in order to compete.
- Be Social: In recent times, the popularity of social media has increase four fold. It has become a buzzing medium for people to communicate and share online. Search engines also consider social media a metric for a site to rank higher in search results. Be active on social media and share content. Social media is the best way to create a buzz for your business. Optimize your social profiles on various popular social networking sites including Facebook, Google+ and Twitter etc. Engage, share and contribute to create brand recognition for your business. Coerce people to like, share, and tweet your content. Choose the best time when you expect the maximum people to be online for getting better and more promising results.
- Adaptation: Keep your business ready to adapt to rapid changes. Pay attention to trends. The mobile version of your website needs to be very user friendly. People are searching the web on tablet PCs or large screen mobiles more frequently. If the mobile version of your site is unavailable, you risk loosing potential customers. Either use a responsive theme or develop a separate user friendly and easy to navigate mobile site that will help mobile users access your website in a convenient manner.
When it comes to SEO, always insist on using the best keywords that truly depict your business product/services. Always choose keywords that score high in terms of search but low in competition. SEO is all about being natural, not pretending to be natural. So be yourself as you write great content for your users. Clear your mind of thinking about what ranks in search engines, and instead think about the user requirements and how you can improve the user experience of your website and coerce people to visit your website. Stay clear of fast fixes and strive for quality.